You can only pick and choose what bills to pay so many times before you encounter problems. While keeping a roof over you and your family's head is probably high on your list of "must pays", the time may come when even the rent has to wait. For those contemplating a bankruptcy filing, you may be hoping that you will be able to keep your landlord at bay. The success of that happening has a lot to do with what steps your landlord has already taken to have you removed from the rental property. Read on to learn more about the potential for you to get evicted after a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Tell your creditors to "stay"
Once you submit your paperwork for a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, a powerful weapon becomes available. This weapon is known as the automatic stay, and with it you can stop all bill collection activities, put off utility disconnections for a while, forestall foreclosure actions and even temporarily halt eviction procedures, in certain circumstances. The difference between being protected by the automatic stay and being out on the street concerns how serious your landlord has been with the threats of eviction.
Take action quickly
When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, the faster you file the more protection the automatic stay can give you. If you wait until creditors have taken legal action against you, it may be too late to stop them. If you were able to file your chapter 7 bankruptcy paperwork with the federal courts before your landlord was able to file eviction paperwork in your local courts, you may have a better chance of staying put for a bit longer in your rental home.
A debt owed is still a debt owed, and unlike your credit card debt you cannot list your back rent payments on your debtor matrix and watch it disappear. What early filing can get you, however, is some time to take corrective action and get your rent caught up. You might be thinking that you would not even be filing for bankruptcy if you were able to pay your bills in the first place, but you may be in a better financial position now than you were before you filed. Since most filers have a considerable amount of credit card debt, and the extra money freed up by no longer having to pay those high minimums on the card can be put to better use now.
If you are too late
Once the eviction paperwork gets filed with the court, you are probably out of luck when it comes to staying in your home. On the plus side, you will still have more funds available to find other housing. Check with your particular state's landlord tenant rules to find out exactly how much time the landlord must give you to vacate the premises.
Don't put your chapter 7 filing off too long; speak to a bankruptcy attorney, like one from Price James S & Associates, as soon as possible.